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Privacy vs. Profiling on the Internet

TitlePrivacy vs. Profiling on the Internet
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKiraly, C.
Conference NameInter: A European Cultural Studies Conference in Sweden
Date Published11/2007
PublisherLinköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet
Conference LocationNorrköping, Sweden

It is just getting common knowledge that private data entered on web pages is not safe at all. What is less known is that on the Internet, even if using encryption, simply by communicating, the communication pattern (services we connect to, amount and timing of communication) reveals a lot about ourselves. Attackers, or even the Internet Service Provider itself can use Statistical Traffic Analysis tech­niques to gather information, to profile users for marketing or for other (even ma­licious) reasons. To face this threat, privacy preserving technologies have been developed since the early eighties, providing anonymous communications and masquerading traffic patterns. Are the privacy enhancing technologies ready to be used by the masses? Is it legal to use such technologies in a world where strong encryption was banned for private use even some years ago? Where retention of communication data (for several years) is gaining ground in legislation? Are we becoming safer or more of a suspect by using such technologies?

Refereed DesignationUnknown